Springfield, MA

Caring Health Center


The Caring Health Center comprises three interconnected buildings that formerly housed a furniture showroom, but were abandoned for multiple years. The three buildings, including the Smith Carriage Company building (1890), the Morse Block (1904), and the Coombs Block (1914), are constructed of unreinforced brick masonry with stone and pressed metal highlights. The Smith Carriage Company building is on the National Register as part of a historic district and the other two are on the State Register of Historic Places and eligible for the National Register. Prior to the start of the Caring Health Center renovation project, the buildings suffered from water infiltration and deterioration of the masonry facades. SGH assessed the facade, peer reviewed the design, and provided other support services through both design and construction.

The masonry facades exhibited mortar loss, spalling masonry, cracking, and displacement. SGH completed a comprehensive condition assessment of the masonry facades, and windows. Our assessment included visual surveys and observations of concealed conditions at exterior openings. In addition, the third floor of the 1904 building was significantly damaged in 2011 during a tornado. SGH determined the extent of tornado damage, and provided recommendations for stabilization measures and permanent repairs.

We assisted the design team by reviewing facade restoration documents; detailing window, wall, and below-grade waterproofing; and evaluating concepts for insulating the existing walls and rebuilding tornado-damaged portions of the walls as a cavity wall system with waterproofing. SGH also provided material testing and assessment services, including mortar and concrete laboratory testing and on-site grade of the existing wood trusses. We visited the site to compare as-built work with the design intent and to address unforeseen conditions uncovered during construction.

Project Summary



Completion Date


Construction Value


Preservation | Repair & Rehabilitation
Building Enclosures | Structures | Applied Science & Research
Health Care & Life Sciences
Dietz & Company Architects, Inc.
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Building Science | Condition Assessments | Preservation | Materials Science | Microscopy

Key team members

Gregory  Doelp
Gregory Doelp
Senior Principal
Susan  Knack-Brown
Susan Knack-Brown
Building Technology Division Head, Boston